Chris Christie update: GOP front-runner once again?

Also: The New Jersey Legislature panel investigating Bridgegate may compel Christie to talk

By Elias Isquith
Published April 17, 2014 1:13PM (EDT)
Chris Christie                          (AP/Susan Walsh)
Chris Christie (AP/Susan Walsh)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent much of 2013 as the de facto front-runner for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2016, a dynamic that intensified with his landslide reelection late that year. But then Bridgegate happened, and ever since, Christie's been fighting to not only stay alive as a presidential contender but to keep his first job as the Garden State's governor. Yet while there's no reason to believe Christie's really been able to put his troubles behind him, a new poll shows that in an increasingly weak-looking field, Christie may remain a force to contend with for other Republicans hoping to get the White House nod from their party two years hence.

Here's the latest Christie happenings:

  • A new poll from Fox News shows Christie technically leading the pack as the presidential choice for GOP voters. Christie takes in about 15 percent in the poll, with Sen. Rand Paul and former Gov. Jeb Bush close behind, both at 14 percent. Yet as is the case for Bush and Paul, too, the poll also finds Christie losing to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 matchup, nearly by double digits.
  • The panel formed by the New Jersey Legislature in order to investigate the Bridgegate incident is readying to call forward people to testify. While the panel has so far announced no plans to do so, the Wall Street Journal reports that it may attempt to force Christie himself to testify. Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a co-chair of the panel, says calling forward Christie is "a possibility but not a certainty[.]"
  • A new editorial from the South Jersey Times slams Christie for his new anything-goes stance on campaign finance. "We suspected that they were hanging on by a single lug nut," the editors write, "but the wheels just fell off Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign finance reform bus, we can now report." The editors note that Christie once bragged of his comprehensive plan to enact greater regulation of campaign finance in New Jersey — but now that he's set his eyes on Washington, his earlier passion for good government seems to have dissipated.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Bridgegate Chris Christie Election 2016 Fox News Jeb Bush John Wisniewski Rand Paul South Jersey Times